Montgomery Trading Post
Historical Marker Rejected by
Texas Historical Commission
By Kameron Searle
Just as a mirage contains no water, the Montgomery Trading
contain no historical evidence of a Montgomery Trading Post.
Kameron K. Searle
In 1991, the Montgomery Intermediate School History Club in Montgomery, Texas, under
the guidance of Bessie Price Owen, filed an application for an official Texas State Historical Marker for the
so-called "Montgomery Trading Post." In 1993, this application was rejected!
This page is about the history of the Montgomery Trading Post marker application and its rejection.
Included here will be documents and correspondence from the "Montgomery Trading Post" marker
application file received by the author from Sarah McClesky with the Texas Historical Commission on June 8,
2009. Special thanks to Sarah McClesky for locating this file regarding the rejected marker application after so
From the Cover Page Bessie Owens' Narrative History in Support of the Marker Application
In her narrative, Bessie Owens left out every single detail of W. W. Shepperd's extensive role in the
founding of the Town of Montgomery and the establishmnet of Montgomery as the county seat just as Robin N. Montgomery had done in
his book The History of Montgomery County in 1975.
The history of the rejected Montgomery Trading Post marker application is important. One of
the important lessons to be learned from this file is that outsiders with no emotional attachment to the
Montgomery Trading Post story realize immediately that the various Montgomery Trading Post accounts do not
agree, have serious documentation problems, and "appear to be based on family
The file is also important in that it tells us precisely which local historians knew about the
existence of the Lake Creek Settlement between the years 1991-1993. As the file is examined, we will see the many
reasons why the Texas Historical Commission rejected this application. Many of the reasons for rejection of
the marker stated by the Texas Historical Commission are also the same reasons stated by this author
throughout the article "Evolution of the Montgomery
Trading Post Myth."
Original 1991 Application Form Requesting an Official Texas Historical
for "Montgomery Trading Post" from the Texas Historical Commission
Title of Marker: Montgomery Trading
Marker Location: Highway 149 at Town Creek Montgomery (1mi. north of intersection of
Hwy 149 and Hwy. 105)
Distance and direction of subject marker from marker site: approx. 300yds east of
Owner of Marker Site: Supervisor Resident Engineer Texas Highway Dept. Carl W.
Address: P.O. Box 1320 Conroe, Texas
Sponsor: Montgomery Intermediate School History Club
Address: P.O. Box 1475, Montgomery, Texas 77356
Signature of County Chairman: Gertie Spencer
Address 151 Texas Park Conroe, Texas
This application was dated April 4, 1991. The THC file stamp indicates that
this application was received by the Texas Historical Commission on April 9, 1991.
September 20, 1991 THC Letter to Bessie Price Owen
Requesting Additional Information about the "Montgomery Trading Post"
After reviewing the original narrative submitted by Bessie Price Owen
with her application for the marker, the THC staff, which had no emotional attachment to the Montgomery Trading
Post story, could instantly see the problems with the Montgomery Trading Post. THC placed the application on
"There seem to be different accounts of
the Montgomery Trading Post from different sources."
"Both accounts appear to be based on family
"Without clear documentation to support one or the other account, we may not be able to state
categorically in a marker who did actually establish the
While the narrative gives a great deal of information on the Shannon and Montgomery families,
very little is given on the trading post
Between 1991 and 1993, Bessie Price Owen would respond to this and other letters from
the Texas Historical Commission with at least two more addenda or narratives in support of the Montgomery Trading
Post marker application. In writing these narratives, Owen would enlist the assistances of William Harley
Gandy and Harry G. Daves, Jr. It is clear from the supplemental narratives that Bessie Price Owen,
William Harley Gandy and Harry G. Daves, Jr. had knowledge of the existence of the settlement in Austin's
Colony known as the Lake Creek Settlement by 1992.
William Harley Gandy had written a masters thesis in 1952 titled, A History of
Montgomery County, Texas. Gandy had made no mention of the Lake Creek Settlement in his 1952
thesis. By 1992, both Gandy and Daves were aware of the existence of the Lake Creek Settlement.
In late 2001, Harry G. Daves, Jr., a descendant of Owen Shannon and Margaret
Montgomery Shannon, published an article which included Daves' research regarding the Lake Creek Settlement.
See the publication of the Montgomery County Genealogical & Historical Society, The Herald, Volume
24, Issue Number 4, Winter 2001, "Owen Shannon’s Grave," pp.161-169:
"For some reason our Shannon and Montgomery family have tried to contend that the
home site of Owen and Margaret Shannon was located within the settlement called Montgomery, which is also
false. The settlement was known as the Lake Creek Settlement..."
As the Lake Creek Settlement could actually be documented with primary historical
sources and the Montgomery Trading Post could not, the THC would eventually reject the marker for the Montgomery
Trading Post and suggest that Bessie Price Owen make a new application for a marker regarding the history of
the Lake Creek Settlement.
Since 1993, the quantity of primary source material proving the existence and
historical significance of the Lake Creek Settlement has grown substantially. Click here for the
latest research about the Lake Creek Settlement.
1993 Letter from Texas Historical
THC Marker for the "Montgomery Trading Post"
June 24, 1993
Re: Montgomery Trading Post
Montgomery County, Job #26491
Dear Mrs. Owen:
The State Marker Review Board has completed its evaluation of the above-referenced
historical marker application. I am sorry to inform you that the
Board has voted not to approve this application for a marker. In making their decision, the Board
members took into consideration the relative lack of concrete information on the Montgomery and Shannon
trading posts and their locations, as well as the lack of documented historical significance. One
member suggested that he might be willing to consider a new application with a wider focus on the history of
the entire Lake Creek Settlement...
Cynthia J. Beeman, Administrator
Official Texas Historical Markers
Local History Programs
The State Marker Review Board correctly rejected the marker for the Montgomery
Trading Post due to "the relative lack of concrete information about the Montgomery and Shannon
trading posts and their locations, as well as the lack of documented historical
significance." There simply was no evidence to support the existence of a trading post called the
"Montgomery Trading Post" owned by anyone named Montgomery or Shannon. The Montgomery Trading Post is in
fact a myth. Click here to see detailed information as to how the Montgomery Trading Post Myth got started and evolved
Recent evidence proves that the trading post or store that, in fact, preceded the town of
Montgomery, Texas was actually a store owned by a man named W. W. Shepperd for which there is
a considerable amount of concrete information and documented historical significance. The actual trading
post was known as "the store of W. W. Shepperd on Lake Creek." W. W. Shepperd would found the town of
Montgomery, Texas in 1837. For more information about the store that preceded the founding of the town of
Montgomery, Texas, see the article, "History of the
Indian Trading Post."
In 1993 Rejection of Montgomery Trading Post Marker
Al Davis Suggested Marker for Lake Creek
"I had difficulty (after reading all the material) finding much of substance related to
the actual trading post. Perhaps it is too obscure to provide more information. I would support a final effort to suggest focusing on the Lake Creek
Settlement or one of the founding members."
In his rejection, one of the State Marker Review Board members, Al Davis, indicated he
"would support a final effort to suggest focusing on the Lake Creek Settlement or one of the founding
members." Probably due to her age (80 in 1993), Bessie Price Owen did not make a new application with
the Texas Historical Commission for a marker for the Lake Creek Settlement. Click here to see
the most recent research and up-to-date information about the Lake
Creek Settlement in Texas.
In 2015, Kameron Searle in cooperation with the Montgomery Historical Society and the
Montgomery County Historical Commission applied for a Texas Historical Commission marker for the Lake Creek Settelment. Texas
Historical Commission Reveiw Board member, Al Davis, had suggested this back in 1993 when the Texas Historical Commission rejected the marker for
the Montgomery Trading Post. Click here to see pictures of
the Dedication Ceremony for the Texas
Historical Commission Marker for the Lake Creek Settlement in front of the Nat Hart Davis Cottage and Museum in Montgomery, Texas
on February 25, 2017. This marker correctly identifies W. W. Shepperd with establishing the trading post/store and founding the town
of Montgomery. The marker ceremony was very well attended, and it was just great seeing so many people interested in their history.